2001 Chrysler Town and Country Engine starts and dies

Tiny
JERRYJAM
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 3.8L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 125,000 MILES
Engine was running perfectly until car was not started for five weeks. ( I had a total knee replacement and did not drive the car for about five weeks). During that time there were several rainstorms with high humidity. Also; during this time I had a solar battery trickle charger hooked up to the battery. I have almost recovered enough to think about working on the problem. I have a scanner tool but I cannot get down on my knees to hook it up.

The first time the engine was started it ran very rough and then died. It would start again but then die again.
While engine is running; pressing the throttle lightly a few times will finally get the rpm up past 1000 and engine smooths out with dash lights and tack operating porperly. However it will not remain running unless l continue to lightly "peddle" the throttle while keeping engine rpm between 1000 and 3500 rpm. Doing this will enable the engine to run smoothly up to around 3500 rpm but holding a steady throttle at any rpm results in the engine stalling and the dash lights flashing while tack and speedometer fluctuating wildly until engine dies or throttle is again lightly peddled. This procedure produces a very "rich fuel smell"

I thought that I might possibly have some water in the fuel tank so I added a 15 oz can of Berryman B-12 CHEMTOOL along with a bottle of Heet to the fuel tank in order to mix any water with the gasoline.

I was able to slowly drive the car (in low gear) for about a mile while peddling the throttle and moving the steering wheel back and forth to aid the mixing of the added chemicals. This did not help.

The problem seems to be electrical but the sudden symptom after the extended time of non use does not compute. I will be checking for possible vacuum leaks in a couple of days and I also will be examining the air intake for bird or wasp nests.
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 AT 10:06 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Since you can't connect the scanner, try this.

Cycle the key from off to on 3 times (not starting the engine). The 3rd time, let the key in the run position. Codes should be displayed on the inst cluster. Let me know what you find.

Since you smell a rich mixture, it could be a number of things. O2 sensor issue, coolant temp sensor, the IAC may not allow it to idle, the TPS may be allowing it to die when you hit the throttle. See if any codes are there and let me know what you find.
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 AT 10:21 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I had another thought. Check the fuel pressure to make sure the regulator is working and not allowing too much pressure to build.
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 AT 10:23 PM
Tiny
JERRYJAM
  • MEMBER
Codes are 1684 and P601
I have been trying to get my ProScan software to work on my new Windows7 laptop to check things when the engine is running and while I am slowly peddling the throttle. I had to order a new serial to usb cable for my ProScan ODBII to work with Windows7
I have now cleaned the throttle body, air charge sensor, EGR system, and replaced the MAP Sensor.

I heard a very weird sound coming from the throttle body when I reved the engine up to around 4500 rpm. ( I had the air conditioner on because it was hot that evening) I shut the A C off and the sound went away but came back as soon as I switched the A C back on. (I burned up the A C clutch with this dumb action because of high rpms). After smelling the burning clutch I shut down the engine and noticed the Cat was red hot so I closed the hood, started the engine and drove the car for about three miles while keeping the rpm between 1 and 2 K to cool off the Cat. When I got back to the shop the Cat was no longer glowing red hot. I checked the outlet of the exhaust and air flow seemed normal so maybe I did not damage the Cat.

I drove the van about ten miles to my muffler shop yesterday for them to check the Cat, fuel pressure, and change plugs and wires. (They have a good engine tech that performs tuneup everyday and he is knows Chrysler products).

They called me today and informed me the engine worked perfectly for about five minutes after the spark plugs and wires were replaced but then ran rough and died. The service manager said the the P601 code indicated that the PCM was failing to communicate properly and was dumping more fuel than could be burned thus shutting down the engine. He suggested that I have the local Chrysler dealer flash the PCM and that would probably resolve the issue.

I went to pick up the van and I heard the weird noise again so I drove it to the service bay for the tech to hear. He said it was the throttle air valve rapidly opening and closing but it quit making noise and the engine died. He then retested the fuel pressure while I started the engine and slowly peddled the throttle. When I held the throttle steady the fuel pressure would start to fluctuate (a little bit) but rapidly and then the engine would die but the fuel pressure would return to 60? The fuel pressure would remain at the required pressure until I held the throttle stead for over a second.

I plan on disconnecting the negative post and then disconnect the PCM and spray the connectors with Deoxit and the Renewit I use for electronic connections on computers and television sets.

If that does not work then I will call the Chrysler dealer and or send the PCM off for reflashing.

Got any more ideas? JJ
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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 AT 4:28 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I have some bad news. The 1684 just indicates the battery has been disconnected. The PO601 indicates a bad PCM. The definition of the code is "Internal controller failure." What my manual indicates is if this code exists, "Replace the PCM." It doesn't even provide any tests for the issue.
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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 AT 6:57 PM
Tiny
JERRYJAM
  • MEMBER
I thank you for your information. Those error codes were present when I first learned how to get them with the key 3 on off trick.
However, I have discovered that the code P0601 or P601 will always come up whenever a check engine light has been ignored for too long.

I cleared the codes by performing several instrument re calibrations after I had cleaned the throttle body, idle air, and air charge sensor. The check engine light never came back on and all instruments functioned properly including the overhead console ambient temp, instant mileage, etc. Those functions may be controlled by a different cpu. I don't know. It seems strange that the motor would run if the PCM were actually defective

Also; the check engine light is no longer on and I had no error codes when I got to the muffler shop. I do now have the two original error codes but no check engine lights.

I will let you know what the fix is when it happens. :-)
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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 AT 7:19 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I look forward to hearing from you.

Joe
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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 AT 8:09 PM

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